Negatives of the Attitude Era

Discussion in 'General WWE' started by Dolph'sZiggler, Mar 26, 2013.

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  1. we all slurp it off enough, so instead let's bury the Attitude era today.

    #1. Too many fucking title changes. People hate on the Cena/Edge/Orton generation for having too many title reigns, which while this may be true, this trend ASHLEY started during the AE. After Austin won the title from HBK he lost it to Kane... for one night. He got it back the next night on Raw. After SCSA's second 90 day reign, yes 3 months was basically a CM Punk esque reign in these days, the title would be hotshotted around from Taker to Rock to Austin to Mankind to HHH to Vince to Austin... in about a 2 year period the belt changes hands 14 or 15 times. As I go back and watch the attitude era this really bothers me. The same thing is true of the tag titles and mid card titles.

    #2. Every match became a brawl. Now when you have great performers like HHH, Rock, Austin, Taker, Mankind ect they can still make a good ol fashion brawl entertaining.. but it becomes all sorts of repetitive. You want to hate on Hogan or Cena for following tight match scripts? SCSA says hello from 1999, because he follows the same script in every match himself. This was also the introduction of the finisher kickout era that we all hate. So yea, when first watching these crazy brawls all over the arena it's great.. after seeing basically a very similar main event to every PPV... seeing the same hardcore match for the hardcore title 20 times, ect... it becomes tedious

    #3. Saturated the product. We became so conditioned to seeing blood or boobs, hearing swearing, seeing big matches given away on Raw, hotshotting of storylines/pushes, ect... and this era was the beginning of it. A lot of it was out of necessity to keep the WWF competitive with WCW, and it made for great TV at the time, but it really spoiled us as wrestling fans with their hit you over the head style nonstop action crash booking of the shows. Shit just went too much too fast. Think in the early 90s we were just seeing the first ladder matches in wrestling history.. by 2000 we were seeing some of the most wild shit of all time with the triple threat tag team TLC matches and similar shit.

    #4. Death of kayfabe. Not nearly to the extent of WCW, but the beginnings of wrestlers 'breaking character' or using "insider terms" really gained popularity around this time period in the WWF. Off the top of my head you have guys like the Rock popularizing the term "jabronie" which was a backstage term for jobber. Mankind constantly broke kayfabe in his promos. The Beaver Cleavage storyline. Al Snow constantly poked fun at kayfabe. JR had some sitdown interviews with Foley & Goldust basically destroying kayfabe, more or less just saying "hey I'm playing this character on TV"

    I'm sure I've got more, but that's it for now. Add yours, dispute mine, whatever.
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  2. My least favorite thing about the Attitude Era - 1999. I'm fine with 1997, 1998, 2000 and even 2001, though the AE is said to officially end with Austin's heel turn. Most everything I disliked about the Attitude Era happened in '99. Titles switching hands constantly, constant hotshotting of angles where storylines that could have gone on for several months were being burned through in the matter of two or three months, people switching from face to heel and back, a deterioration in some ways of the in-ring product, etc. And since these are pretty much the same points you brought up, I figured I'd just offer my own comments on them:

    1) The title changes and period of hot shotting (mostly in 1999) was almost all Russo's doing, and he burned out audiences so much from it that it didn't even work in WCW when he tried it a year later, and WWF audiences were already glad to move on from it in 2000. It didn't even work in 2002, when Vince was on a soap opera kick with things like Al Wilson, Gay Marriage and Katie Vick, even though all of these things would have probably fit right in with the climate of the AE. Russo leaving was one of the best things for WWE at the time. I personally don't mind quick title changes here and there, but doing them so often all the time is unnecessary. Both the world title and IC title switched hands twelve times each in the year 1999.

    2) Agreed, but the Attitude Era was very heavy on characters and personalities rather than matches, more so than any other era. It was kinda the opposite of the 80's boom, which was much more of a draw as a sport, whereas the 90's was much more focused on entertainment. There were far more crash TV type of segments in the AE - especially in 1999 when their ratings were at their highest - than there ever were in the 80's. Because of this, the in-ring product could afford to suffer because they knew there were other hooks that would cause audiences to tune in. But again, this is still mostly a 1999 problem for me. Things largely improved in 2000 and also weren't quite as bad in 1998 either.

    3) Agreed, and it goes along with point #1.

    4) This wasn't done nearly as bad and blatant as it was in WCW a year later when Russo had the commentators say stupid shit like "We're deviating from the script here! This isn't supposed to happen!" Bagwell was also seen on camera saying he was the chosen one according to the writers, and then acted surprised when there was a camera there filming him. In a way, I think the way WWF did it added realism (which was a main staple of the AE) because it showed that they were just real people, like Undertaker no longer being a literal undead zombie but rather just a guy who's interested in the dark side. This later transformed itself into the Satan Worshiping sort of gimmick, which I thought was awesome.

    Overall, I think my thoughts on what I didn't like about the Attitude Era (though it still had it's good/great points, obviously) can be summed up simply by stating the year 1999.
  3. And the divas , don't get me wrong , but I think Vince was a little bit too sexist . They looked like whores
  4. The fans only care about the divas because of their physical attributes anyway. Might as well play that up.
  5. The attitude era spoiled us.
  6. This. Ever since then wrestling fans have become curmudgeonly, saying "back in my day" or "remember x from the good ole days", like the Attitude Era was the be-all end-all of wrestling.

    Plus there's really nothing that could top it. After seeing Edge spearing Foley through a flaming table, or Foley getting chokeslammed off the Hell in a Cell, how do you follow that? Stick two flaming tables on top of each other and throw someone off the Hell in a Cell onto them? Or maybe add some Aids-infested hypodermic needles? :cornette:

    Eh, enough rambling.
  7. I avoided that line of thinking because it's not just the people who grew up during the AE that think that way.

    People who grew up during the 80s golden age shit on the AE. People who grew up watching Sammatrino shit on Hogan in the 80s. That part of it is just cyclical.
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  8. That's true. But hey, at least nobody thinks the PG Era will shit on whatever comes next :haha:
  9. Those kids who chant "Let's go Cena" will be 16-18 year old smarks before you know it talking about how X champion blows compared to how great Cena was. Guaranteed.
  10. I'm going to go off on a tangent here. The most beloved eras in wrestling history are the late 80s boon and the AE. What did those two eras have in common that is missing from today's wrestling scene? Larger than life characters! Almost everyone today has plain trunks, a regular name, and a "bad ass" attitude. That's why it all seems so plain and boring. It's also why so many are attached to Generico and his gimmick. Look at 2/3 of team babyface for WM:

    Randy Orton: Plain name, plain trunks, bad ass
    Sheamus: Plain Irish name, plain trunks, smiling bad ass

    Where are the Macho Man's, the Ultimate Warriors, the Heartbreak Kids, the Razor Ramon's, the Mankind's and to a lesser extent the Doinks and wacky characters of that ilk? To say we were spoiled is missing the main point. Wrestling has gotten stale because so many guys look and act alike.
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  11. That's the other reason I shy away from saying "it spoiled us"

    Are we really spoiled because we are tired of this generic watered down bullshit WWE calls a product in 2013?

    Nobody said we were spoiled during the RA era following the AE... because it had great wrestling and characters still.
  12. This is largely true and it's why they need to go back to letting guys having large creative input into their own characters. Some of the best gimmicks - Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, Steve Austin, The Rock, Razor Ramon, Goldust, John Cena, etc. come from the guys coming up with it largely on their own. With the news of Triple H wanting people to go back to coming up with their own promos again, then hopefully this sort of thing is sure to follow along with it soon enough since it follows the same logical path.

    Also, to be fair, I think Sheamus has a certain uniqueness about him. Has anyone ever been a Irish warrior before? He's not 'larger than life' but has the potential to be an interesting character.
  13. I don't see any of those as major negatives. I think they're all valid points, but they didn't really deter that much from the quality.
    Like for example #1 there were a lot of title changes and I think that would be bad, but lets take a look at that roster for a moment. This is when main eventers were actually in the main event and not fighting for midcard titles. There were also like 5 big name main eventers and only one major title, not two like, now so i can see how title changes happened more often and quite honestly I liked when the title changed, it's a fresh new start to me.

    Number two, I do agree with you there. A lot of the matches did end in some sort of brawl, interference, ect and I do think that should have been toned down, because WWE can occasionally put on a good match or two with none of that stuff and I appreciate that.

    Number three, I don't see where it's really a flaw. I really don't like limitations on the programing I watch. I feel that people aren't limited in real life, so why should they be on tv. Boobs and blood aside, I liked AE's consistent edginess, it made the show entertaining at all parts.

    The kayfabe thing I agree with you to an extent because I think AE did it too often, but in it's defense I think the time called for it. This was a time where people were just now realizing wrestling was pre-determined, so instead of trying to hide it, they embraced it. I think that has settled down a bit with today's era, although you'll see it here and there, but it's far from as much as it was in the AE.
  14. People honestly knew wrestling was 'fake' at least since 1989 when Vince admitted it for the first time. It even made major news (there might be a Youtube video of it floating aorund) when he did it.

  15. That anchorman saved that entire thing from being chaos lmao. The sports journalist was the only guy that had anything that even resembled intelligence and he barely got a chance to speak.

    Cheers for mentioning those Kevin, still interesting viewing.
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  16. Many people knew it was fake long before this shit, and plenty of kids/ignoramuses thought it was still real after. Vince admitting wrestling was fake in 1989 didn't mean every person from coast to coast got a text message on their smart phone that said "Breaking: wrestling is fake"

    Just because this hearing happened doesn't mean kayfabe needed to be cast aside. When you are watching TV, say it's Breaking Bad, would you like for someone to come up to Walter White and be like "Hey, you're that guy from Malcolm in the Middle!" ofc not, because when you watch Breaking Bad you look at Bryan Cranston as Walter White, because you are suspending your disbelief. Same with wrestling. Yea, most watching know it is fake, doesn't mean I want to be constantly reminded of it while I'm trying to enjoy the programming.
  17. Here's another one: It really put an end to jobber matches. Ever since then it's been two guys both trying to get over at the same time, and the actual jobber matches simply don't do the same thing that they used to unless it's an impressive wrestler (Ryback/Henry)

    Would be a lot easier to see Sheamus squash jobbers every week instead of promising young talent
  18. I already agreed with the point you've made in that regard in my first post of the thread. There is a difference between knowing you have to suspend disbelief and people breaking character in the middle of the show itself, I agree this is obvious. As I pointed out though, I don't think WWF abused this in the same way that WCW did, except for maybe Beaver Cleavage or whatever. If I remember, he said "I can't do this anymore" during a live promo on Raw but even that wasn't that bad as it just showed that he (the person) was just trying to put on a character for entertainment purposes. We all knew that guy was Mosh beforehand anyway. It's much different in WCW when they were acting as if the whole show was real but then suddenly saying it wasn't in the middle of the show and pretending they were being controversial in doing so, and then seconds later going back to pretending the show as all real again. I've always compared the stupidity to someone like John McClane in the middle of a firefight in Die Hard and then quickly looking to the camera and saying/asking the audience in a joking way how he is he gonna get himself out of this one.

    Anyway, the post of mine you quoted was mainly responding to Dat Kid's comment (though I didn't quote his post, it was right above my previous comment) about "people were just starting to realize wrestling was pre-determined." I was just throwing out a bit of trivia for the hell of it.
  19. It seems to me you are more or less giving WWF a pass just because WCW was a worse offender. I can't find a video but I can recall Al Snow coming out dressed as Shinobi and started saying "what the hell am I doing this again for? I'll never get over with this gimmick!"

    I get that Russo-WCW took it to the extreme, but WWF shouldn't get a pass for this stupidity.

    I was thinking about it though and the worst part is definitely the constant flipping from heel to face, as well as the rapid fire way they burned through all the big match ups (which is a very unfortunate long term result of the AE on today's WWE).
  20. Actually, I honestly couldn't think of an example other than Beaver Cleveage. I wouldn't be willing to give them a pass just because WCW took it to other extremes as I'm easily critical of several things in the AE as it is anyway. I've even pointed out to people that criticizing WCW for things like them giving away too many big matches or big things on TV (like Hogan/Goldberg) is silly since WWF did the same thing, and arguably did it worse. The WWF Title switched hands eight times (twice more if you count post-Attitude Era later in the year 2001) on free TV. They also gave away plenty of big things on TV that could have been saved for PPV. They were both guilty of this since they were burning candles at both ends (as Vince himself put it) to try and compete with each other.

    I think WWF gets a slight pass from some people for the 'breaking of kayfabe' thing because the positives of their show still outweighed the negatives in other areas. You can get away with shit so long as it isn't all shit. Same couldn't be said about WCW in 2000.
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